Medals, Honours and Awards
It is gratifying to record that since the Overseas Military Forces of Canada first went into action they have been awarded upwards of 17,000 Medals, Honours and Awards, including 53 Victoria Crosses, 1,885 Military Crosses, 19 Distinguished Flying Crosses, 1,204 Distinguished Conduct Medals and 6,610 Military Medals.
Medals.—At the present time the general question of Service medals is under consideration by the Authorities. Up to date, the services of soldiers who have served in a theatre of war previous to certain dates mentioned below have received recognition by the grant of distinctive decorations known as the Mons Star and the 1914-15 Star respectively. All Canadian who served in a theatre of war previous to November 22-23, 1914, are entitled to the Mons Star, while those who served between that date and December 31, 1915, are entitled to the 1914-15 Star.
Owing to the distance of Canada from the scene of active operations and the time involved in transporting her troops to England and France, the number of Canadian entitled to the Mons Star is largely confined to those who saw service with Imperial Units.
Amongst those entitled to the 1914-15 Star are those who crossed to France with the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, the First and Second Divisions, the Cavalry Brigade and certain Lines of Communications and Artillery Units. A few members of the Overseas Military Forces of Canada are in possession of the Mons Star, having served in a theatre of war with a Medical Unit within the prescribed period.
Gold Wound Stripe.—The Gold Wound Stripe is issued to all ranks who have been wounded, or shell-shocked, in the presence of the enemy; it is also being issued in the case of wounds, etc., resulting from enemy air raids in the British Isles. The condition for the award of this stripe is that the name and casualty are published in the Official Casualty List.
Chevrons for Overseas Service.—These Chevrons are issued to all ranks, and in the case of members of the Overseas Military Forces of Canada the date of leaving Canada is the date for the award of the first Chevron. An additional Chevron is issued 12 months from this date, and so on. All those members of the Overseas Military Forces of Canada who left Canada prior to midnight, December 31, 1914, are entitled to a Red Chevron as the first Chevron and a blue Chevron for each additional 12 months served out of Canada. Those who left Canada since December 31, 1914, do not receive the Red Chevron.
Good Conduct Badges.—Briefly, a Good Conduct Badge is awarded to a member of the Overseas Military Forces of Canada after having served two years in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, and a second Good Conduct Badge after the completion of five years service. Former service in the permanent Force or in the Imperial Forces is allowed to reckon towards these badges, and men are also allowed to wear any Good Conduct Badges they may have earned by previous service in either of these Forces.
Silver War Badge.—Broadly speaking, the Badge is awarded to any member of the Overseas Military Forces of Canada on resignation or discharge from the Service on account of wounds or sickness caused by service, and on retirement or discharge as over age, the age limit being fixed at 45 years. In the case of surplus officers, it has not been possible to fix a definite age limit, and each case is treated on its merits. Service in a theatre of war is not necessary for the award of this Badge, it having been approve that service outside Canada is equivalent to service Overseas from England, which is the qualifying factor in the case of the award of this badge to Imperial soldiers. In Canada the Silver War badge is known as the "B" badge.
Badges known as "A," "B," "C." and "D" Badges are issued in Canada, and the conditions for the award of these Badges are laid down by Order in Council P.C. 1296. The "B" Badge (Silver War Badge) is the only Badge issued in England.
The King's Certificate on Discharge.—This Certificate is awarded to officers, warrant officers, non-commissioned officers and men who have served since August 4, 1914, Overseas in a theatre of operations with an Expeditionary Force in the present war, and been discharged under para. 392 (XVI.) or (XVI.a) King's Regulations, and whose disablement has been certified to have been caused or aggravated by Military Service, provided disablement or ill-health was not due to misconduct. It is also awarded to all ranks, who, not being included in provisions as above, were discharged under para. 392 (XVI.) or (XVI.a) King's Regulations, whose disablement has been certified to be directly attributable to the action of the enemy in air or naval raids.